Archive for the ‘ebooks’ Category

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More of the Mortui Philosophies

June 18, 2018

 

 Mortui Philosophies

“The spawned element,
Rudra*,  consumed
The Living Darkness”

“Rudra uncovered the Light
Rudra gave the Darkness
To his Mother and Father
This was a gift.”

“These elements consumed
All the Darkness.
And gave birth to life.”

“The Elements gave
Life to us.”

“Then the Darkness was gone.
And our Mother and Father
Consumed their children.”

“The elements then birthed
Monsters.”

The Mortui Philosophies
The sketchbooks of the author
Matthew Sawyer

(BTW- that is Rudra’s brother, Awaran, who is speaking)

Images and music composed by Matthew Sawyer
All rights reserved

The horrible fiction of Matthew Sawyer is available for purchase from Lulu.com

Ebooks available from Smashwords.com

 

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Once Gramps Had Come – A Christmas Story

December 19, 2015

An essential piece of Christmas has been missing forever, almost as if it has hidden itself. In the story Once Gramps Had Come by Matthew Sawyer, that hidden piece comes out to perhaps breathe clean air, eat or maybe stretch its legs. Whatever is done, this short tale starts in a Nursing Home. A homely man who calls himself “Gramps” offers immortality and the holidays are coming up.

Once Gramps Had Come by Matthew Sawyer

Once Gramps Had Come
Matthew Sawyer

Thursday, November 21, an ugly, old man comes to the Nursing Home. He is not the slightest seemly; not handsome like the weathering of a familiar leather jacket, nor noble like the bark of a gnarled oak. The man is ugly. Frightening, yet he looks a lot like that knotted tree and ragged hide coat. Presumably present for the terminal long-duration care and rehabilitation available here at Nueva Buena Vista, the terrible creature introduces himself to other residents. He calls himself, “Gramps.”

Mr. Breckell, who regularly assesses his own hearing, believes he has misheard the name. He shouts from his seat of padded linoleum. “What did you call yourself? Cramps?”

Mr. Breckell assumes and also asks, “Is that what’s wrong with you?”

The ugly old man lumbers near the only fellow whose spoken to him. This Gramps or cramps sits down on the stiff, yellow cushion next to Mr. Breckell. The new old man creaks and his joints crack when he bends his legs then he adjusts his seat. The racket is disquieting to everyone in the day-room. Mr. Breckell tells the creepy, wooden man next to him, “You sound like you’re going to break.”

“I do fear it,” Gramps answers.

Before he forgets, Mr. Breckell asks him again, “What did you call yourself?”

“Cramps,” Mr. Breckell swears he’s heard again.

He suggests to the badly weatherworn stranger, “Cramps, I would change that nickname. You could then go talk to someone else.”

“I think you are mispronouncing it,” Gramps tells him.

“Me? How about you?”

Gramps, or still possibly cramps, immediately interrupts the fresh argument. “Are you afraid of dying, Mister…”

“Breckell,” Mr. Breckell automatically replies.

“Sure,” he then insists. “Yeah-”

“I can help you live forever.”

Mr. Breckell finishes his thought. “But I get less fidgety the older I get.”

He then pauses, gazes into impossibly seeing and dense cataracts then tells cramps, “I don’t think you can help yourself. By the look of you…”

Mr. Breckell shakes his balding head.

“I know the worst of it,” Gramps promises his indignant comrade. “You can help me.”

The idea makes Mr. Breckell chuckle. “I will see what I can do.”

With yet no response, he asks the ugly stranger directly, “Who are you?”

“Everyone has forgotten me.”

Mr. Breckell tells him, “Welcome to Anonymous-Anonymous. The ladies across the room cry about the fact at weekly meetings.”

Gramps adds, “And any who do remember me, and if they still believe, they think I have gotten lazy over centuries.”

Mr. Breckell assures him. “That’s just how it feels.”

Pink light glows behind the opaque eyes of the stranger. “I’m telling you, Mr. Breckell, there is another way. You can live forever.”

Mr. Breckell laughs and the sound grows. He stops his guffaw when Gramps admits, “But there is a horrible exaction. There are crimes you must commit.”

“Go figure,” Mr. Breckell says entertained and newly curious. A meager rush of adrenaline reminds him of the shadow of being a young man and alive. Enthused that little bit, he grins and banters. “What evil things must I do. How many children do I need to eat?”

“The children are never eaten,” Gramps declares.

Mr. Breckell tells him, “Then that explains why you’re so scrawny. Tell me, mister, who are you?”

“I told you.”

“Oh, no you don’t. I am not about to wake up tomorrow and remember my name is Al Z’heimers. Who are you?”

The ugly stranger next to Mr. Breckell tells him, “The Krampus. The, the Krampus.”

“Huh?” Mr. Breckell grunts without purpose. His recollection is vague. He goes on and says, “Remind me who that is. Are we talking about Christmas? The elves and the magical Saint Nick, right? Not the Jesus and Christian Santa Claus, correct?”

“And not the American who drinks Coca Cola,” specifies the Krampus.

The name, or its shaded memory, fits the horrid personification here in the ugly stranger. The monster tells Mr. Breckell, “I am his nemesis, his companion and cohort. The folklore all across the world will tell you the same.”

The Krampus rants. “But I refuse to do his work. I won’t do it and I only want to pass away – and join our brothers. Somebody else can be remembered to be the Krampus. And he or she can be that until the end of time.”

“End of time, you say?” Mr. Breckell repeats. “That’s the part that includes living forever you were talking about?”

“If you do those things you must do.”

“And what does that mean? What do I got to do?”

The Krampus scowls when he says, “Make toys.”

Jokingly, Mr. Breckell answers, “Well, how do we get this operation done? I can live forever and do that.”

“Hell, what are all the toys for?”

The Krampus reveals in earnest, “They are the years of your life. Each toy is a day, you live one day for every toy you make. And you must keep them secret.”

Carried by high spirits, Mr. Breckell continues to play with the ugly man. “That can’t be bad. I suppose I can make seven toys in a day, or make fourteen or even seventy.”

“Saint Nicholas takes them away,” replies the Krampus. “And you will die if you do not have even one made and hidden away. Then, at least, you will live that single day. You can use that time and make a new toy that you can stash away.”

Having never truly stopped, Mr. Breckell laughs aloud once again. “Are you telling me Santa Claus steals your toys.”

The Krampus alludes, “A thief by any name… what would he do if he was ever successful and he murdered me?”

“You are telling me, you can die if Santa takes away all your toys.”

“You will die, Mr. Breckell,” declares the Krampus. “When you become me.”

“Hold on,” Mr. Breckell says and stunts the conversation. “You told me you wanted to retire. What did you say? Pass away. You can do that if you let Santa have all your toys.”

“There is something else you must do,” states the Krampus solemn and cold. “Someone must take your place. Someone else must always be the Krampus or we will never be at peace.”

Unswayed by any prospect this whole week has presented him, Mr. Breckell remains engaged in his lively discussion. “I don’t know about your offer, mister. I heard that Saint Nick character was one tough hombre. You know, burglary is his thing – creeping down chimneys and eating cookies and all.”

An idea occurs to Mr. Breckell. “Hey, I have never seen the jolly old man. I know for a fact my parents put all my presents under the tree. I never heard from you, either. Or were you part of all those pagan parties before the twentieth century? Before my time?”

“I was hidden,” answers the Krampus. “Me and my toys and my workshop have been hidden all your life and longer. Saint Nicholas had no toys to give to good girls and boys.”

Mr. Breckell rambles, “So Santa Claus canceled giving away presents because he couldn’t rip you off…”

“What about his little helpers? Where are his elves?”

The Krampus shakes his head, gasps then sighs. “I am so tired and I cannot bear the things I do. I can no longer bear my guilt.”

Mr. Breckell wonders aloud, “Why? What have you done? You make toys.”

“Listen,” musters the Krampus. He leers into Mr. Breckell’s face. “You can’t just take them – I never did. I gave them warnings. They get two?”

“What are they and who are them?” Mr. Breckell asks. He is not one bit interested in hearing any admonitions.

The Krampus tells him, “The first warning I give is a lump of coal. I put it in their stockings.”

“Are you talking about kids?” indicts Mr. Breckell. “I was just kidding when I mentioned earlier that I was hungry. Certainly no veal.”

The Krampus ignores the man’s comments and he continues speaking. “The second is a bundle of twigs bound together with reed. After that second year, I just come and take them.”

“Where – where to?”

“The North Pole. I hide my workshop there in a cave washed out by ocean waves.”

Certain who they are talking about, Mr. Breckell shouts, “Why?” Not one deaf head in the day-room turns.

The Krampus confesses, “Children can make your toys for you. That’s allowed if you keep them under your control.”

“Slaves?”

“I use a potion brewed from an extract of mistletoe. I mix it into their porridge of ice and snow.”

Mr. Breckell mumbles at a volume hardly overheard. “You brainwash children with poison.”

He then judges aloud the beast by his side. “Inhumane.”

“No, no, the potion makes them happy.”

The Krampus’ speech sounds scrambled.

“Don’t you see? Saint Nicholas has no workshop in the Arctic Circle. He doesn’t have any elves. All of that belongs to me. He takes away my toys and the children who are glad they help the Krampus stay alive.”

“What does Santa do with the kids?”

“I suppose he takes them home. I don’t know, I don’t know… I don’t care.”

Mr. Breckell says proud, “It’s good to know he is still a good man.”

“Is he?” cries the Krampus. “Is he, Mr. Breckell? The Sinter Klass hunts us, sir. He will not let our souls rest and he only wants to keep us desperate. We are forced to desperately make toys to stay alive.”

“Hold on,” Mr. Breckell states and mimes as if he physically pulls in an equine’s reins. “Who are you talking about when you mention ‘we’? Certainly not you and me.”

“There is only now you,” replies the Krampus.

“What do mean?”

The gnarled creature tells the man, “Mr. Breckell, you agreed to take my place.”

“No,” Mr. Breckell objects. He has stopped laughing. “How did that happen?”

“Because you spoke to me.”

****

The nursing home vanishes from all around Mr. Breckell. The Krampus goes, too. Rather, old Mr. Breckell has himself gone. The elderly man discovers he is alone atop snow and an iceberg larger than his poor eyesight might measure. He shivers only a little because the air and ground are both cold. Mr. Breckell does not already know it, him standing outside fully dressed overlain with his nursing home bathrobe, but for some inexplicable reason the man is lucky he is not shaking more. Foremost in his audible mind is, “I have been teleported to the North Pole.”

“The dirty scoundrel,” grumbles Mr. Breckell. “What am I going to do now?”

He recognizes a scraggy voice whispering from out of his own ears. The voice of the original Krampus tells him, “Watch out for Saint Nick. Your brothers are watching you.”

“Hey, get back here,” Mr. Breckell shouts. “Send me back! I didn’t agree to anything.”

As the voice falls further away, Mr. Breckell hears it say, “The souls of your brothers depend on you to keep our peace. Hide. Hide and make toys.”

“Wait a minute,” Mr. Breckell begs the voice before it is gone. After no answer except a frigid gust of wind, one that chills his limbs, he appeals to the overcast sky. “Where am I suppose to go?”

“He said he made a cave,” Mr. Breckell tells himself. As if he knows the direction, he marches toward the ocean side.

Along his solitary journey, he first asks himself, “Who are the brothers?” Further along, Mr. Breckell answers the question.

“I bet it’s you,” he says to himself, meaning the voice he recognized was the Krampus he met tonight in the day room at Nueva Buena Vista.

He chides the Krampus he knew while tramping downhill into deepening snow. “Some wretched fiend looked at you and found a fool to pass a curse onto.”

“That’s what this is, isn’t it?”

The question is rhetorical. The hypothetical answer is, too. “Some eternal life this is, I tell you.”

A gunshot makes his insane reality legitimate. A bullet immediately blows snow and steam from a hole made into a snow drift concealing most of his thin and aged body. Hidden so, he has avoided injury.

“I got you,” declares a hoarse old man with yet a jolly shout. “I found you. Where are your toys?”

Mr. Breckell says without hunting the horizon for the shooter, “Santa Claus, is that you?”

A skinny man wearing a long gray beard and longer, hairy, green coat shouts back. “I’m Ole Nick, to you. Ho.”

Ole Nick pauses and asks the rookie Krampus, “You’re a new Krampus aren’t you? ‘Course, I haven’t seen you for over a hundred years. And I’ve been looking. I promise you that. I guess I’m just lucky everybody hasn’t forgotten about me.”

The stretched elf laughs aloud. “Ho, ho, ho,” then he fires a shot into the air. An AK-47 then swings over his head once more and unleashes a burst that drowns speech.

Dropping the weapon, Ole Nick tells the new Krampus, “I said, Christmas is coming this year. Show me where you’ve hidden all your toys.”

“I don’t know,” pleads Mr. Breckell. Challenging the safety of his snowdrift, he raises his head and looks over his shoulder. Saint Nicholas comes up behind him, following his target’s fathom-deep foot prints.

“I am feeling charitable all of a sudden,” promises Santa Claus, “I’ll give your a break because you’re so brand new. Look at you – your wrinkles haven’t yet turned into bark. Give me all your toys and I’ll let you live this year – well, at least until Spring.”

“You’re going to kill me?” asks the unbelieving remnant of Mr. Breckell.

Ole Nick grows serious. “You, your kind and your undead hive mind are an abomination.” He spits. “Ptah, you all-in-one and everlasting…”

“The Krampus is a dreg of Creation, the root of jealous anxiety. You don’t feel it yet, but you will quick enough. I exist to clean you up.”

The human that yet survives claims, “This is crazy. Please, let me go. Take all my toys. Please, just allow me to make more.”

“Your type of immortality is a mad idea,” judges Santa Claus. “Well, I’m the balance. You must die – after Christmas this year is sorted out”

The Krampus stammers. “Just take my toys, leave me in peace.”

“I will rescue the kids, too,” Ole Saint Nick pledges.

“What kids?”

“The ones you hypnotize and they make all your toys.”

The Mr. Breckell inside the Krampus tells Santa, “Take them. I’ll make my own toys.”

Ole Nick chuckles. “And just like all your brothers, you will be disappointed to find you can’t keep up.”

Mr. Breckell asks even though he sort of knows, “Who are my brothers?”

He is ignored. Instead, Ole Nick waves a rifle into his face and commands him, “Show me your toys.”

“Yes, yes,” replies the Krampus. He then takes Saint Nicholas to his lair.

The entrance to the ice cave is near. Truly, the two eternal spirits have almost always shuffled through snow over the length of saltwater carved caverns. Having arrived at the cave mouth, the Krampus points toward the dark hole. Uncertain of the intention of the man with the gun, he invites Saint Nicholas inside using only a nod and an arm gesture.

“There is candlelight inside,” promises the Krampus and Mr. Breckell knew.

“You go first,” Santa responds. “I’m right behind you and I’ve got an automatic weapon pointed at the center of your back.”

Before either spirit steps further toward the underground, gaunt and pale children fizz out of the hole as if they were bubbles jumped from a boiling cauldron. All of them smile. They shout in song, “The Krampus!” Apparently impervious to the freezing cold, the skinny kids banter with each other in the snow wearing only pajamas and slippers.

“He doesn’t look like the Krampus,” one boy observes.

A smaller girl tells him, “He smells like the Krampus.”

And the boy replies, “He doesn’t look like him.”

“He will look like one in a hundred years,” another child answers.

Boggled, Saint Nick wonders rhetorically, “What poison?”

Ashamed because of this evidence left by a guilty brother who had come before him, the one who had been Mr. Breckell claims, “I’m sorry – it wasn’t me.”

“You will commit this same crime one day soon. You always do,” Santa retorts. “I’ll be back and shoot you. You can join your brothers… and there will always be another one like you. There has always been.”

Although the children are reluctant, Saint Nicholas gathers them together and puts all the boys and girls the Krampus has kidnapped behind him. He tells the Krampus, “You can make as many toys as you want until then… enough for next Christmas, I expect.”

“You want the toys for Christmas?” reiterates the desperate Krampus. “But they are the days of my life… I’m sure we can work something out.”

The inconceivable notion brings another, “Ho, ho, ho,” from Ole Nick.

“Give me your toys,” Santa Claus orders the Krampus with no condition or exception.

“Please,” the Krampus begs Ole Nick while the children go directed back into the cave to haul out all the unwrapped Christmas presents.

Santa salutes the Krampus, “I loathe your kind – that is just the nature of Creation. Because of you, it has been a hundred years since the world has truly seen what Christmas was meant to be.”

The Krampus presents a feeble defense before the dangerous elf goes away. He says, “Is Christmas all about gifts? Toys that are better made to save the life of a man?”

“You are not a man,” answers Ole Nick.

Near sundown, after a day that seemed to last months, Saint Nicholas tells the Krampus, “I’ll be back before sundown to clear out the rest of your lair. Merry Christmas – you better be gone by then.”

Confused and having nothing sensible to say, the Krampus who had once been Mr. Breckell watches Ole Nick go. The tall, green elf presses the rear of his caravan of gift-bearing slave children. Establishing distance between them and their slaver, Santa Claus calls back to the Krampus from across tundra. “You’re going to die… I’ll kill you myself.”

You can’t hide forever. – you will come out and find another…”

“Even before that, you’ll start collecting slaves…”

“Then I will find you again.”

“You better get those toys made!”

****

After the once been Mr. Breckell finds the recipe for mistletoe poison, and he’s discovered a new lair for his toy workshop, the following news is broadcasted on Christmas day. While half of the United States still awaits dawn, WSIN television newswoman Sue Niam reports in an urgent voice,

“How do I describe it? These worldwide incidents of the opposite of breaking-and-entering are simply pandemic. Homes all over the globe – the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and even Israel – everywhere – have seemingly been forcibly entered by persons who resemble the sixteenth century Father Christmas.”

“Father Christmas is the Jenny Craig Santa Claus who wears green instead of red. Viewers are probably most familiar with him as the Ghost of Christmas Present in the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol.”

Ms. Niam pauses on-air live and she asks an off-camera someone, “Is this a hoax?”

The preened television personality then continues describing, “Images and videos captured all over the world portray a single identical intruder in all these incidents – intruder is not the word for him – because he leaves wrapped presents then disappears”

Her cameraman is told, “Charlie, this is one man. How can one man appear at once in millions of homes?”

The response from the cameraman is loud enough to register on the recording. “I hate wrapping presents.”

“Hold on,” Ms. Niam tells Charlie and her viewing audience. “Reports are coming in saying the intruder carries an automatic military firearm. Our Santa Claus is shooting pets.”

After a moment spent quietly listening to her earphone, Sue Niam tells her audience, “Gunfire has been exchanged… witnesses have reported skirmishes between the intruder and armed homeowners”

Interrupting herself, she states, “We have a caller from Arizona.”

“Hello, Mister Rood? You said you exchanged gunfire with the man dressed as Father Christmas.”

“I sure did.”

Eager to curb the mania in her caller’s voice, Ms. Niam says, “We’re just now learning about the hundreds of incidents. These armed encounters seem focused in the Western half of the world.”

“America!” rallies Mr. Rood. “Damn, yeah.”

Ms. Niam cautions the man from Arizona. “Please, language, Mr. Rood. And it is Christmas Day.”

Mr. Rood grumbles, “Libtards.”

Refocusing the report, Ms. Niam asks her caller, “Can you tell us what happened to you this morning?”

“Yeah, sure,” Mr. Rood grants with heavy breaths. “I heard that sucker rattling my front door at four AM. I don’t go work at Walmart until six fifteen so I heard what was going on.”

The caller raises his voice.

“He come in my house with the ‘Ho, ho, ho’ and touting his rifle. Well, I brought mine.”

Interested in summarizing the witness, the television reporter asks, “How was the gunfire initiated?”

Yelling because of adrenaline, “I shot first – the man was in my home. He shot at me but I think I got him. All the authorities got to do is follow the blood trail. That’s red enough for Christmas for you all.”

– End –

If you liked my story, the least you can do for me is send me a Christmas card. You can do that by buying this story on Smashwords. Merry Holidays (how does that sound?).

– Matthew Sawyer

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Clara is Dead! Long Live Clara! – Doctor Who fan fiction

August 19, 2014

Clara is Dead! Long Live Clara!

I like Jenna-Louise Coleman. I think her acting in the BBC television series Doctor Who is worthwhile Sci-Fi. But honestly, her character, Clara Oswald, sucks. Steven Moffat never really developed a good backstory for the character. And with season eight of the 2005 reboot of the languishing program soon airing worldwide, it is obvious the man stopped trying. So be it. One has to let eggs drop so that more might be saved. Alas, I believe the actress herself is worth salvage. Give Ms. Coleman a new role on the show, I propose. Bring back a favorite face, I dare say. I mean a rewarding character. I elect Romanadvoratrelundar, the Time Lady from Gallifrey. Jenna rejoins Peter Capaldi on Doctor Who in this exciting new role.

Clara is Dead! Long Live Clara! is a fictional story. Doctor Who and the characters in this story are properties of Doctor Who. I submit this tale as a fan for fans of the Doctor Who television series.

Clara is Dead! Long Live Clara! by Matthew Sawyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Please contact the author for permissions beyond the scope of this license.

Clara is Dead! Long Live Clara!

Matthew Sawyer

Clara Oswald has no idea why she stays around. The Doctor is a maniac. He was more considerate when he was a different man. “When he wasn’t so old,” she deliberately thinks.

“Oh,” the Doctor’s companion tells herself aloud. “He’s the same Time Lord. His face has changed….”

The TARDIS is jolted and the young woman grabs a safety rail inside the console room. She is then prompt and complains. “And his whole personality, that’s all.”

The perturbed young lady tells the Doctor on the other side of the console, “You were more considerate before. A gentleman. Slow down. Let me rest if you’re not tired.”

“I’m never tired,” the Doctor declares and he flips levers on the carousel control board. His time and space ship straightens itself upright.

“I remember,” he shouts and presses a single button repeatedly. “An old friend.”

The incredible machine groans and everyone knows it is about to materialize. Clara grumbles. “Oh, where are we now?”

“Home,” he answers. “My home, Gallifrey.”

“Oh,” Clara chirps suddenly chipper. “Is your friend here?”

She strolls around the console while the Doctor remains hunched and attached to its switches and dials. The young woman teases the fixed pilot. “Why else come home?”

The Doctor sounds sarcastic when he tells her, “I don’t know. It’s been about six hundred years since I’ve seen her last and I guess sometimes I wonder how she is getting on.”

“What’s her name?” Clara asks and bites her lower lip.

“Romana.”

“I’d like to see her.”

“You will,” he replies in a raised voice. “Get out. Take a look – there’s a light flashing on the console.”

Clara stops mid-step toward the time machine’s exit door. “What is it?”

“Parking authority,” he scoffs. “Evidently, I can’t park here. I’ve got to go somewhere else.”

The Doctor’s female companion stays paused near the door. “I’ll come with you.”

“No,” demands the Time Lord. “Get out. Go. Clear your head.”

The advice resonates with Clara. His precise phrases make her paranoid, but the errant school teacher has felt so about him since she first met the genius alien. He periodically makes her uneasy. And she feels as if he can read her mind.

“I will,” Clara answers the Doctor. “If it’s okay with you.”

“Go, get out, look around. I’ll be right back. I’ll meet you here.”

She cracks wise. “When?”

“Eh…”

The moment she opens the exit door, shouts come in from outside. “Take this junk to the shipyard or we’ll ship it to the junkyard. You can’t bring it here, take it to the spatially-bound staging lots.”

The TARDIS dematerializes leaving Clara alone outside the time machine. The abandoned companion sees she’s been left in a strange cathedral, a wild exaggeration with an impossibly high ceiling. The enormous walls appear made of balsa slats and paper panes – like those found in medieval Japanese noble homes.

Silly soldiers dressed in shining and ornate plastic armor tinted red come and meet Clara Oswald here in this spacious antechamber. She tells the dispatch there with their crystal pistols, “I’m with someone. He’s coming back.”

“Is he?” an ancient woman asks her. The question is sincere.

“Sure,” Clara affirms for her own good. “The Doctor has to park the TARDIS. That’s his name, the Doctor.”

She mumbles, “It’s still him,” then says aloud, “He’s meeting me here.”

“Clara?” asks the older woman while she approaches the young companion.

Clara wonders, “How did you know?”

She remembers her suspicion about the Doctor and she assumes everyone of his race all have telepathy. He does read her mind, he has the whole time. Her human brain is stuck contemplating how she can cope being someplace where everyone knows her thoughts. Clara stands chewing her lower lip and knitting her brow until the other woman interrupts her morass.

“I’m Romana.”

“Oh.” Clara wipes her hands before taking that of the hostess. “I am Clara Oswald. I haven’t actually known him that long – the Doctor that is.”

“Well, you have,” Romana tells her. The mysterious deepens when she says, “But that is another story.”

“I’ve known the Doctor for centuries,” the worn Time Lady informs the ripe companion. “I was assigned to keep an eye on him.”

“Oh,” Clara states unsurprised.

Romana clarifies, “He was in a different reincarnation…”

“I know how that goes,” Clara blurts.

Romana finishes. “A long time ago.”

The companion promises the old companion and nanny, “You won’t recognize him now. He’s regenerated again.”

“I know,” Romana tells Clara. “It was big news on Gallifrey, unprecedented. The Doctor had been so wasteful with his lives.”

“That hasn’t changed,” Clara gripes. She talks about herself. Inside, she admits she has witnessed his tremendous sacrifices. The man was a hero and she feels guilty about her distrusting him.

“Thank you, Clara,” Romana tells the human. “Time Lords live so long, we forgot how precious life is. You helped the council remember how appreciation feels. Your words were a gift to awaken the dead.”

“Thanks?” Clara wonders.

“Let’s go to Borusa’s old office,” Romana suggests. “I’m about to have it remodeled but mine has just been started. I was going to take the day off, but by now you probably know about Time Lords. We are a restless bunch – that’s why there are laws against our intervention. I had to stay busy.”

Clara agrees with as much as she is able to relate with. “You’re telling me. Whew.”

Romana’s red escort marches away while the two women walk the opposite direction. The Time Lady leads the way by one step ahead of the unattended companion.

“Who?” Clara also inquires. “Borusa?”

“He was the Doctor’s former teacher. The man walked a controversial path, like everyone our mutual friend knows.”

“Mine is pretty straight,” opines the human woman. “I think.”

“Examine your company,” Romana reminds her.

“I’m not judgmental,” Clara assures herself aloud.

“Come to think of it, I believe I’ve met you before,” Romana tells the other woman nonchalant while she pushes open a pair of great leaden doors. A bomb then explodes from inside the room behind the loose slag-marked slabs. Both Clara and Romana die when the tiny women are crushed.

Romana then awakes with a new face. Indeed, her whole body has changed. She is a new woman with the same name. The Time Lady is proud because the fact. She praises a planet as she gets up and on her feet. “Thank you, Karn.”

Appreciation for the Sisterhood’s Art swells both of Romana’s hearts. Regeneration is erratic without the knowledge of their spiritual methods and practice. Without their help, she would have been confused. Their miraculous elixir would have been ideal but the Time Lady was reborn into the form she visualized. Romana had seen another hero while she floated in her lucid dream of death.

The Doctor then finally arrives one more time.

“Clara,” he shouts. “What happened? You look all right. Dirty, but yeah-uh…”

“Thank you for noticing,” Romana responds. “Uh-hem, it’s nice to see you too.”

“Is someone dead?” the Doctor yells. The Time Lord drags his foot against the ceramic while red armored soldiers come and investigate the explosion from Borusa’s old office. More red comes scraped from the sole of his boot.

“Yes,” Romana reports. “I was telling your companion about the disease we Time Lords suffer because we live so long over and over again. Our apathy.”

The Doctor mentions, “It’s because of all your rules.”

A pall then falls over the Doctor’s anxious expression. “What?”

Romana mentions, “I’m sorry, Doctor. Clara is dead.”

“No,” he groans. No one is certain what the man denies.

He implies a thousand questions when he asks the air, “Who?”

“I’m Romana,” she tells him. “I was here when she was killed. We both were – I lost a life.”

“Sabotage, my lady,” a soldier tells the Time Lady before he goes back to investigating.

Romana and the Doctor face each other widemouthed and overhear another soldier identify, “Sontaran.”

“You look different,” she mentions to him out of hand before the Doctor shouts, “I wasn’t here. I didn’t see this, I can fix this.”

“Doctor,” Romana begs. She follows him when he spins around and runs the length of the Citadel cathedral. She shouts while she pursues her longtime friend. “I think I know what you’re doing. Your sense of boundaries got you in trouble during your last set of regenerations, don’t waste your new lives.”

“It’s what I do,” he yells when they arrive together at his TARDIS. “I save people.”

His new self and the newer Romana jump into the time machine, which then disappears. The sound the TARDIS makes as it vanishes is especially tedious this trip. Its noise is even more tired when the machine reappears nowhere else except back a small hop in time. Although, from a perspective inside the TARDIS, that same time is frozen. It’s stopped in the past.

The Doctor and Romana save minutes while an impromptu, prolonged discussion first interrupts then delays Clara’s impractical rescue. The Time Lord is angry. He shouts at the fresh disguise of his old companion. “Why her? Why would you look like her?

The Doctor then immediately apologizes as he always has. “What I mean is…”

“It’s terribly swell to see you again, Romana. You’re one of my favorite people. I’m happy for your change, but you look like her because Clara died. How can you do that? Change back.”

“I came back to Gallifrey just to see your face. Wash-up, for goodness sake. You’re covered in ash. And is that a scab of blood?”

“Thank you, Doctor, but no,” she tells him. “I looked like I was about to topple over. Clara was a pretty girl – and fit. You’ve always like the athletics ones.”

“You did this last time,” he grumbles. A critical point then occurs to the Doctor. He reminds Romana, “Hey, they were people, human beings,”

“They weren’t Time Lords,” she retorts.

The Doctor argues. “They were still important.”

Romana confesses, “Clara still is a hero to the people of Gallifrey.”

“So you take her face?” he snorts.

“Why not? She’s been fashionable all year.”

“I think all of you have confused memorial for fashion,” the Doctor judges. “I’m happy I don’t stay here.”

“Perhaps,” concludes Romana. Her changing the topic is abrupt. “Doctor, the officer said it was the Sontarans.”

Happy the conversation now moves at a speed he is accustomed with, the Doctor replies, “I heard.”

Resentment deep in her belly compels Romana to elaborate. “They invaded our home planet after you were made president.”

“That was hardly my fault.”

“You abdicated your position after you vanished and didn’t come back.”

The Doctor argues, “I came back.”

“You were summoned, again.”

“Humph.”

He is grumpy, but his old companion has heard him act this way before and most of the time. She ignores his mood – one she knows he probably pretends – and Romana reminds him, “I think they hid a bomb in Borusa’s office when you on Gallifrey with that jungle girl. I saw the recordings in the Matrix.”

The Doctor grins. “Yes, Leela. Show some respect.”

He suddenly acts outraged. “Is that what this is all about?”

“You threw her into the wastelands.”

“For her own good.”

“Listen, Doctor,” Romana commands. “How far back in time have we come? Do you have a plan?”

“Do you?” he asks her, embarrassingly open to ideas. “I remember when Commander Stor had access to Borusa’s room. We’re here then.”

“That was an awfully long time ago.”

“I know.”

Romana calculates, “I think the bomb was set to go off when a sensor detected your DNA.”

“You think?” the Doctor answers as if he casts blame. “What about Clara? She’s the one who is dead.”

The Time Lady stays calm. “Obviously, a little of you had worn off on the girl.”

The Doctor is humbled and he states, “Right.”

Fiddling with controls on the TARDIS console, he tells Romana, “I suppose that’s the reason I didn’t come back on my free will; mysterious forces, hooey and all. Let’s not talk about it and let’s just rescue the girl.”

“Are you going to stop him, Commander Stor?” she wonders. “Aren’t you worried about causing a Paradox? I won’t look like this.”

“Good,” he replies.

“Time starts over when you open the TARDIS door. You don’t want to do anything bad.”

His tone is firm when he tells Romana, “Paradox? Nooo…”

“Doctor…”

He stomps his foot. “Someone I know died.”

Romana never relents. “Well, what are you going to do?”

The Doctor blows air up his nostril. “Well, considering the time…”

“Don’t be fallacious.”

“I’m not that,” he replies radiant with mischief.

“You haven’t changed, Doctor,” Romana grants the man. “You never will.”

She looks at herself. “Wait, I suppose Clara brought some of her clothes on board. I assume she came with you in the TARDIS. Let me change before we go outside.”

The Doctor frowns, points down an unfamiliar hallway and says nothing. Romana does not try to understand and she goes the way her old friend has directed.

“Good,” he eventually says after she has left the console room. The Doctor shouts, “Put on someone uglier.”

“What do you mean?” Romana calls from anywhere in the bowels or rafters of the time machine.

The Time Lord waves his hand from where he pauses near the exit of his marvelous spacecraft. “Pff.”

Once he never verbalizes his expression, Romana asks the Doctor from outside the room, “Do you want me to bring you a tie? I noticed you weren’t wearing one.”

“No,” he yells.

She informs no one when she ponders aloud, “I’m not going outside. I don’t want to meet myself. I am sure I was in the Citadel the day of your coronation.”

The Time Lady walks back into the console room wearing a blue summer dress. Her pale thighs are largely exposed and tinted cool shades reflected off the borrowed garment. “How do I look?”

She asks nobody. The Doctor had left Romana alone in the TARDIS with no one to talk with. She now stomps her red sandshoe and searches for a clue as to what her old friend is up to now.

“Oh,” she complains. “He’s moved everything around, like I didn’t expect that. They’ll all be different tomorrow.”

“Darn him.”

The same time she curses, Romana finds an external monitor. The Doctor had steered the flat screen’s vista toward vestibules run from the big antechamber. Borusa’s old office is located there. Watching for her friend, Romana notices the decoration.

“Wait,” she desperately mentally projects to the Doctor. She can’t know if he receives her message only because they’ve been separated so long.

Nevertheless, she thinks loud. “Look at the ornaments, Doctor. Look out a window. We landed on the wrong coordinates. We never went back in time.”

She criticizes his shadow when it appears on the view screen. “You’re no better at flying the TARDIS than I remember.”

The lead doors of Borusa’s office are closed and the previous she and Clara are nowhere in sight. Romana is grateful she and the Doctor are early. She contemplates the bomb.

“Doctor, where is your head?” She scowls when his image appears on the viewer. “Don’t you remember? The explosive is triggered by your DNA.”

“I’ve got to warn him,” she urges herself. “This is such an unnecessary waste of a life.”

Yet in the guise of Clara Oswald, Romana dashes from the sanctuary of the time machine and goes searching for the Doctor. She must warn him not to open Borusa’s office.

“Doctor,” she shouts.

Romana hears her new self say, “That sounded like me.”

The Time Lady turns around and meets a living Clara. She and her doppelganger are yet dozens of meters away from each other, but the two identical woman do find the eyes of the other. The Doctor is also there. And he is too far away. He is safe from what is about to happen, and the Time Lord can’t get close in time to help.

The old Romana opens a lead door and the room inside explodes.

The next Romana watches herself die. Before her body regenerates, her future incarnation sees she is dead. The Time Lady realizes that moment she wastes her life. She looks at the Doctor standing agape in front of her.

“Well, I’m about to get here,” are the only words he will utter. Romana follows her friend back to the TARDIS. She grills him only when they are alone together inside the time machine.

“Are you satisfied? You only made a horrible event more set in stone.”

“You still need someone looking over your shoulder,” she admits to her companion. “Someone who knows what she is doing. I’m coming with you. We’ll go do something anybody can do for your dead friend. We’ll go to Earth.”

The Time Lady drives the Doctor’s time machine without a sound. During the flight through space and time, Romana wonders, “Clara was that little girl we met together on Earth. It was Christmas time, is that right?”

The Doctor nods his head. His face appears fallen and dull but Romana might swear she sees him glow when she speaks to her friend. She continues talking to him.

“That was quite a while ago – and you still traveled with her? Hold on, she is the Impossible Girl. I remember her story, it’s why Gallifrey is in love with her beyond what is simply popular.”

“Say,” ponders the Time Lady. “She constantly pops up through time and saves your life.”

“Fragments,” growls the Doctor.

Romana tries to sound convincing. “You might see her again. Or are you two done? Was that it?”

“I’m only curious,” Romana mutters in silence after she realizes she has mentioned too much.

She asks the brooding Doctor, “Is she done?”

“Apparently not,” he answers after she asks him again. He looks directly into the face of his companion.

The Time Lord pledges, “I’m going to fix this.”

“Not alone,” Romana tells him.

“We will think about the solution first and take our time. Did you forget, Doctor? You always do. Time is on our side. That is our luxury.”

The Time Lady smiles wide enough for the both of them. “And we’re together again. Let’s remind ourselves what it is like to be alive.”

– END –

Read more of Matthew Sawyer’s Doctor Who fan fiction at Smashwords.

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Monster, Monster

August 17, 2014

Monster, Monster
Mr. Binger

“Monster, monster,” a homeless man cried all night. In the day, he shouts at people, “Keep away.”

I am there at a pharmacy where outside the man squats in tattered tan trousers atop a flat, overworked cardboard mat. I’m too intimated and won’t ask him questions, but three identical kids do interrogate him.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m a monster.”

He thinks he’s been coy afterward because of the reply. Bloody, un-brushed teeth flash from inside a nettle of black whiskers.

The mother of the children calls off her offspring.

The family had a dog, too, and now that is gone. The animal never barked but I did spot a small mutt on a leash. I watched it tangle itself in the tether. That same leash now lies loose on the concrete sidewalk.

“Where’s Princess?” the mother asks her kids.

They tell her simultaneously, “I don’t know.”

“She belongs to you,” the mother reminds her children. “You’re suppose to take care of your animals.”

“I’m a monster,” shouts the homeless man.

The family has moved away from him and into the parking lot – and the homeless man did not address specifically them – but he sounded as if he was next to us. I paused near the fleeing family when the man’s voice sounded as if it came from the very ground beneath us.

“The bum got her,” explains the smallest of the family. He is a thin boy. His hair is also lightest. And in this guise of simple innocence, he states, “He told me his name was Mister Gobblings.”

The middle child, an equanimous brunette girl, shouts back a question for the homeless man.

“Are you a troll?”

The shocked mother quizzes the littlest kid, “You talked to him?”

The woman does not wait for an answer and instead flails at the oldest, another girl. “Were you watching your brother?”

“I was with her,” states the tallest and darkest of the children. A sharp thumb spears in the direction of her smaller sister.

Both feel the same responsibility for their little brother – a disappointment in themselves is plain on their transparent faces. Their mother acts the opposite and she looks ridiculous in her outrage.

“Well, we’re lucky the homeless man didn’t eat your little brother, too.”

The oldest child begs, “Mom…”

Her mother answers, “You heard what he calls himself.”

“Mister Gobblings,” repeats the youngest.

The homeless man yells again, “I’m a monster.”

The words make me jump.

My own shock disorients me.

Once I have recomposed enough of my awareness, I recognize I eavesdrop on the family’s conversation in the pharmacy parking lot. I avert my attention. The woman’s voice lingers in the air and I recall I heard her call for help.

“Hello, police?”

She uses a mobile phone, I saw so before I turned away my face. The rest of her summons occurs out of my range of hearing. Also vanished from my sight, I assume the woman goes away and takes her children somewhere safe and middle class.

“I’m a monster,” shouts the homeless man.

I do not look at him but I do feel certain he does not tell me again. I think he would say the same to me over and over, except other customers enter the pharmacy. Three immature men and an older teenaged girl stop walking before any pass the homeless man.

“What did you say?” growls a gruff young fellow.

Another boy among the three asks the transient, “What’s your name?”

Curious, I approach the encounter. Cautious, I stay quiet and shield my body behind the youngsters. Fast food has ensued me these teenagers provide plenty of cover, even at their early ages. Unfortunately, their extra padding insulates sound and the conversation within their circle remains mostly incomprehensible. The only words I do hear is when the homeless calls himself, “Mister Gobblings.”

The older kids chuckle, I clearly hear them laugh. I watch the older girl who stands between two of the three boys. There were two guys on her left before I glanced at her bouncing bottom, then I look back and I see that she jogs in place with nobody opposite her last male companion on her right.

She screams, “Who are you?”

The homeless man stays hidden from me. I assume the young woman was shouting at him until I hear his reply. The echo of his voice comes from behind me, from further away than a city block but not far.

“Monster, monster.”

The remaining adolescent couple drifts apart and plainly show the self-deprecating transient has gone. They have vanished, too, when cops arrive.

“He’s over there,” I tell the police and point east. “You can hear him calling – it’s a warning. His name is Mister Gobblings.”

“You heard that?” one of two trim female officers asks me after she and her partner exit their squad car. A smile drifts unto her flush cheeks. She clarifies, “I mean, did you hear that from somebody?”

“I heard him say his name,” I tell both police officers.

The second professional woman comments, “Uh-uh, everybody knows you’re not suppose to ask him his name.”

She snickers then her amusement infects the first cop I spoke with.

“I’m just trying to be helpful,” I plea. “I don’t want to get involved, not really.”

“I didn’t make the phone call. I didn’t see anything that’s probably not on camera – look, it’s a pharmacy.”

My gesture toward the roof of the building goes ignored. The first officer tells me, “Sorry. Mister Gobblings is a hoax, an urban myth.”

“Huh?”

“Everybody knows about him. You don’t ask him his name.”

The second brusque lady claims, “If he tells you his name, you’re marked for life.”

Disoriented, I claim, “But the teenagers…”

The second officer interrupts me and states, “That explains everything.”

“He’s gone now,” opines the first.

They both then wish me, “Good day, sir,” and they go into the pharmacy. Outside, I only stammer, “I never asked his name, I only overheard him say…”

-_End=

Gnawing for more? Read more from Mr. Binger and the originally author Matthew Sawyer at Smashwords

 

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These Horrid Tales of Wister Town Still Lives

November 6, 2013

Forsaken a new life, these horrid tales of Wister Town are still breathing and they are available to read online. Though this collection of short horror stories sorely need editing, there they are. I’m not inclined to return to them. I’ve moved on. I’m writing new stories, better tales, stuff someone should pay me for.

Nevertheless, these stories are free to read online – Horrid Tales of Wister Town

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Insight Into Absurd Recesses Of Inspiration

October 12, 2013

Sometime ago in previous posts, I mentioned my sequel to Debbie’s Hellmouth. I call the book The Betulha Dohrman Legacy. Its manuscript is sitting unwrapped with a real publisher – this self-publishing stuff isn’t working for me. I have no clue where I can find a substantive fan-base.

Bitching and whining aside, I found again one my inspirations for a critical event in The Betulha Dohrman Legacy. This tragedy supposedly occurred in Nigeria, although I suspect these mutations are not uncommon. My similar phantasmagoria happens in Southern Wisconsin, outside an evil little place called Wister Town.

Warning, not for the recently fed. View at risk of your own ingestion…

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